Singapore EXPO is being prepared as a second Community Isolation Facility which will house recovering Covid-19 patients, similar to the first such facility at D'Resort in Pasir Ris.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong confirmed this at a press conference on Apr. 5.
Singapore EXPO's 10 exhibition halls offer up to 123,000 square metres of indoor and outdoor exhibition space while its, convention wing, MAX Atria, has 12,000 square metres of meeting space and 32 meeting rooms, according to VisitSingapore.com.
Patients to be isolated and receive medical care
Patients at an isolation facility will continue to be isolated, and receive medical care.
However, these patients are clinically well enough to be discharged from medical care even though they still test positive for Covid-19, and "do not generally require significant medical care", MOH previously said in a press release issued on Mar. 24.
MOH also said that the facility is modelled after existing Government Quarantine Facilities, though the staff there would observe "a higher baseline level of infection control".
MOH also said previously that the cost of being isolated in the Community Isolation Facility would be borne by the government.
Legal requirement to remain in isolation facility
Patients sent to an isolation facility will be served with an "isolation order", which legally requires them to remain in the facility and isolate themselves, MOH's Director of Medical Services Kenneth Mak said, at a press conference on Mar. 24.
Mak explained that the isolation order would be the "equivalent of a quarantine order", to ensure that these patients remain in the facility and respect the rules.
The isolation order will be lifted when the patients no longer test positive for Covid-19 infection, and are deemed fit to return home by doctors.
Previous policy of hospitalising all cases "not efficient"
Previously, all patients were hospitalised, which MOH explained was to help with understanding of the disease, as well as to isolate Covid-19 patients.
However, this has not been an efficient use of hospital resources, MOH said on Mar. 24.
Thus, setting up the Community Isolation Facility would help to ensure that healthcare facilities in Singapore are able to cope with "a possible surge" in cases.
Some recovering Covid-19 patients have been moved out of hospitals to a Community Isolation Facility at D'Resort in Pasir Ris since Mar. 24.
This facility has a capacity of about 500 persons, according to a press release from the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Top image via VisitSingapore.com.